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I've been playing around with docking, and have noticed I can grab the desktop and drag it to the left or right of the screen. Doing so does not just make the desktop smaller, it turns it into a list of icons of what is open on the desktop. When you click one of these icons, it undoes the docking and take you to full screen desktop.

What's the purpose of this? Can anyone provide a real life use case for this behavior?

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This allows you to dock a modern UI (a.k.a Metro style) application alongside the desktop, and the applications on it. for example, you could dock Messenger to the right, and have the desktop running (say) Chrome to keep an eye on a conversation, or people logging on and off.

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Ah! I just realized they aren't icons, they are live previews of what is going on =] –  Kirk Nov 6 '12 at 8:51
    
@Kirk They are not previews: you can interact with snapped Modern UI app, for example you can chat in Messenger app. –  Alexey Ivanov Nov 6 '12 at 9:55
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